Common Eye Emergencies, Their Symptoms and Treatment

Common Eye Emergencies, Their Symptoms and Treatment

Sep 01, 2022

What are Eye Emergencies?

Eye emergencies are eye conditions that require immediate medical attention. They include chemical exposure, scratches, burns, cuts, blunt injuries, and foreign objects in the eye. Certain eye conditions need emergency attention, such as glaucoma, to prevent severe eye damage. If you experience eye emergency symptoms, you should visit an emergency optometrist near you.

Most common eye emergencies are treated in an emergency eye clinic. Dr. Allyson Tang Optometrist – Vaughan offers for most eye emergencies. Once treated early, there is minimal risk of having severe consequences on your eye. Notably, different eye emergencies have various symptoms and treatment methods. You observe keenly the type of eye emergency you are experiencing at any particular time.

Some Common Eye Emergencies, Their Symptoms & Treatment Options

Here are some common eye emergencies along with their symptoms and treatment options:

Chemical Eye Injury

Your eyes may sustain damage caused by chemicals, such as liquid, aerosol forms, solid, or powder. Exposure to such irritating chemical compounds is an eye emergency. After exposure, damage happens within minutes.

Usually, acid burns are less lethal, and there is a high probability of recovery. The case of alkaline substances like sodium hydroxide, lime, drain cleaners, and lye is dangerous and may cause permanent damage to the cornea. It would help if you always had emergency contacts in case of a chemical accident to the eyes.


  • Burning sensation
  • Eye pain
  • Redness on your eye or the surface of the eyelid
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive tearing


In case of chemical exposure, treatment includes rinsing the eye with a stream of cold running water for at least 10 minutes. Also, it would be fantastic if you do not rub your eyes even though you feel irritation or even after washing them with water. Once you visit your doctor, they recommend starting eye irrigation with saline solution and assessing the injury’s extent.

Eye Trauma

Eye emergencies may result from an accident, which causes injury to the eye. Eye trauma includes direct damage to the eye. Although it is not limited to the eye tissues, it extends to the surrounding tissues, including the bone structures.

Eye trauma also encompasses corneal injuries and the presence of foreign objects in the eye. Foreign objects that may necessitate emergency care once in the eye include sand, dust, and other debris that can stick to the cornea.


  • Blood in the eye
  • Persistent eye pain
  • Redness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Popped out eye
  • Cuts to the eyelid
  • Improper eye movement
  • Abnormal size of the pupil
  • Object stuck underneath the eyelid


In case of eye trauma, avoid rubbing or touching your eye. Also, do not attempt to insert any object into the eye. If you are experiencing a minor issue such as a black eye, you only need to perform a cold press, and the swelling will disappear.

In severe cases, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. You can visit our Vaughan optometrist to have the eye emergency addressed. If the situation is grave, the optometrist will give you first aid and refer you to healthcare providers that can conduct surgery if necessary.

Detachment of Retinal Tear

This condition happens when the retina pulls away from its normal position. In case the pull is minimal, you will not experience any symptoms. However, if the retina has detached a significant section, you will experience some symptoms, including blurry vision.


  • Flashes of light
  • Floaters across your vision
  • Dark shadow on your peripheral vision
  • Blurry vision


Treatment for retinal tear depends on the type of detachment you are experiencing and the degree to which your retina has pulled away. The eye doctor, in most cases, recommends freeze treatment or surgery. Since Dr. Allyson Tang does not perform surgery, she will refer you to a reputable eye surgeon. Surgery on the eye fixes the tear of rectifies the detached part.


As your eyes are very delicate, they can easily get injured. It’s also very complex and cannot be replaced. You should seek immediate treatment if you or someone near you is experiencing an eye emergency.

Also, you should always perform first aid in case of eye emergencies. Depending on the severity of the eye emergency, contact an optometrist or a medical professional. Signs that demand the services of a medical professional include object inside the eyeball, scratch, cut, or chemical—a painful red eye, uncontrollable bleeding, and headache due to eye problems.

You can prevent most common eye emergencies can be prevented if you adhere to safety precautions in your daily activities. Safety precautions include wearing the right gear when working with chemicals or operating power tools. Contact our emergency eye clinic in Vaughan, ON to receive emergency eye care!

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